Masters 2021: Defending champion Stuart Bingham holds off Thepchaiya Un-Nooh fight-back


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Stuart Bingham
Stuart Bingham was world champion in 2015
Dates: 10-17 January Venue: Marshall Arena, Milton Keynes
Coverage: Watch live on BBC TV, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, BBC Sport website and the BBC Sport app. Highlights on BBC Two and online.

Defending champion Stuart Bingham held off a Thepchaiya Un-Nooh fight-back to win 6-4 in the first round of the Masters.

At 5-1 up and on for a maximum 147 break, a Bingham foul sparked a revival from the Thai debutant.

Un-Nooh reeled off three frames in quick succession, compiling breaks of 80 and 113 before the Englishman sealed a nervy victory.

Bingham will meet Shaun Murphy or Mark Williams in the last eight.

While both players were guilty of being loose with the cue ball early on, Bingham’s greater experience on the big stage appeared to work in his favour.

The former world champion capitalised on several errors from his opponent and made a break of 115 to race into a 3-0 lead.

And when he won a prolonged sixth frame to go 5-1 ahead and began the seventh by potting eight reds with eight blacks, the winning line was in sight.

But the prestige of a maximum break and the £15,000 in prize money attached to the highest break almost proved his undoing when the white went into the bottom left corner pocket as he tried to force a red into the left middle.

“Maybe I was a bit unlucky to go in off,” Bingham said. “That gave him an easy starter and then the onslaught started.

“I was sitting in my chair for about half an hour thinking, what have I done here? A bit stupid or a bit mad, so it was lucky for me. I’m over the moon to get a win.”

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